An East Dixfield firefighter has been arrested on the charge of arson after investigators accused him of intentionally lighting a fire last week at an outdoor music area.

Jason Baldwin, 28, was arrested Friday on the charge of class A arson following an investigation, said Sgt. Joel Davis of the state fire marshal’s office.

“This looks like it was a vanity fire, for attention seeking,” said Davis.

The small fire was reported Wednesday at Countryfolk Music Theatre, which hosts free summer concerts, and was quickly extinguished with only minor damage, said Davis.

The fire at 1321 U.S. Route 2, in East Dixfield, a village of Wilton, was considered suspicious, said Davis. Baldwin was arrested after investigators spoke with witnesses and interviewed Baldwin twice.

Davis said the fire in the entryway of one of the cabins was reported after it was spotted by a person across the street. Baldwin helped extinguish it.

He said there was minimal damage to the cabin. In Maine, all charges of arson are class A crimes. Baldwin was taken to Franklin County Jail, where he made bail.

Davis said the East Dixfield fire chief told him that Baldwin had been with the department since May. Davis said investigators are alleging that Baldwin was acting as an individual.

“It shouldn’t be a black mark on the department,” said Davis.

Wilton Fire Chief Sonny Dunham said Baldwin worked for East Dixfield Fire Department, a subset of Wilton’s department. Dunham said Monday afternoon that while he was just getting the news about the charge, he expects Baldwin will be dismissed.

In 2012, theater owner Larry Bisbee lost his cabin in an accidental wood stove fire on the same property two years ago, cutting the concert season short, though donations were raised and volunteers helped him rebuild.

Kaitlin Schroeder — 861-9252

[email protected]

 


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